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Author Topic: varroa screen  (Read 5229 times)
tejas
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« on: August 31, 2004, 11:03:38 PM »

Has anyone tried a varroa screen without a bottom board for extra ventilation, if so how did it work out?
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Lesli
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« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2004, 07:17:51 AM »

I'm a brand new beekeeper this season, so my expierence isn't extensive, but I have SBBs on both my hives, elevated on cinderblocks.  Even though we've had a cool rainy summer, both of the 4-frame nucs I hived on June 23 ramped up very nicely.

They started on foundation, of course, and have drawn most of two deeps and they're hard at work on the goldenrod flow we have now.

I did put on a solid bottom board under the screen to do a mite drop test. After a week, even with tilting and an upper entrance, there was moisture on that board.  So I think the screens work better, and I'm going to leave them on all winter. From everything I've read, it isn't cold that kills bees, but moisture, so it makes sense to me that the SBBs would help with that problem.
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Robo
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« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2004, 12:21:25 PM »

You are basically emulating a screened bottom board.  Yes this will help with ventilation, but providing better ventilation at the top of the hive is more efficient, especially during the winter.
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Anonymous
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« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2004, 02:22:52 PM »

So a screened inter cover during the winter would be a good bet I am guessing. Or just how much venalation is to much ?
 Cheesy Al
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golfpsycho
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« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2004, 03:18:04 PM »

Thats a good question.  Old George, among others, says cold doesn't kill a colony.  They freeze from condensation, starve, virii from the mites, etc etc.  I imagine as long as they are protected from snow blowing in, they should make it.  Guess I will know for sure come March.
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Lesli
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« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2004, 06:56:01 PM »

Quote from: Robo
You are basically emulating a screened bottom board.  


Nope, I'm using SBBs on both. The solid board was only for a week. I also have top ventilation. I find the girls like having a second entrace in the second deep to come and go, and I notched out the inner cover, too.  They don't use that for an entrace yet, but with the telescoping cover pushed away from the notch, they could.
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FredBorn
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« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2004, 07:45:40 PM »

I'm only a 3 year beekeeper with 4 hives in backyard in Florida and I use nothing but screened bottom boards which I keep on all the time. Seems to help with mites. I test occasionally with grreased board and there are always mites trapped on the greased board so I think it does keep them from jumping back on another bee whn they get off another bee for what ever reason; because I have fumed with FGMO, Sugared them or they just fell off.

Fred Citrus County Florida
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Anonymous
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« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2004, 11:18:04 PM »

Speaking of ventilation in the winter, a local beekeeper, with over 1000 hives uses a 3/8 inch dowel in the front of the hive placed between the bottom of the inner cover and the top of the top brood box allowing for a 3/8 inch opening across the front of the hive. This provides for an exit of moisture during the winter. It also provides a top egress for the bees during the winter.

He lost just 30 hives last winter and he says that this is the only difference he made between this past winter and the winter before where he lost in excess of 100 hives.

I used it and my hives made it through the winter OK.
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Robo
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« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2004, 10:19:17 AM »

Quote from: Lesli
Quote from: Robo
You are basically emulating a screened bottom board.  


Nope, I'm using SBBs on both. The solid board was only for a week. I also have top ventilation. I find the girls like having a second entrace in the second deep to come and go, and I notched out the inner cover, too.  They don't use that for an entrace yet, but with the telescoping cover pushed away from the notch, they could.


My comment was to tejas about just using a varroa screen and no bottom board.  Sorry for the confusion.
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tejas
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« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2004, 10:16:25 PM »

Robo,

From what I've read you need more ventilation in the winter but, wouldn't it get to cold without a bottom board at all?
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Robo
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« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2004, 12:29:35 PM »

Not sure I agree that you need more ventilation in winter, but I believe it is more important in the winter.  The bees will always do what they can in the summer to keep the hive cool if there is poor ventilation.  But there is little they can do in the winter.  As many have stated before, it is not the cold that kills the bees, but rather the moisture.

Many folks leave screened bottom boards on year round even in very cold climates with good results. I DO close up my hives for the winter by inserting the tray in my SBB that completely seals it off.  I also completely close of the lower entrance as well.  I leave a 3/8" x 1-1/2" upper entrance that provides sufficient ventilation.  As the bees consume their stores, they produce heat and water.  The warm, moist air rises and will condense on the inner cover if there is no ventilation.  This condensation will eventually drip back down on the cluster.

Perhaps closing off the bottom of my hives is overkill, but it makes me feel better.

Here is my process for wintering my hives ->

http://robo.hydroville.com/html/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=17
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tejas
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« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2004, 07:43:13 PM »

Robo

Betterbee sells a shim about 1 inch high that comes with a entrance hole its made to go on the top hive body to give room for feeding pollen substitutes. I wonder if this would be a good ideal to provide top ventilation?
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Robo
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« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2004, 08:25:51 PM »

I'm sure it would.  I think the key is to provide some type hole for the moisture to leave.  It doesn't take much,  but it needs to be there.  I find that it works best if it is not covered by the edge of the telescopic cover.  Providing an upper entrance also lets the bees more readily take cleansing flights too.  You don't have to worry about dead bees clogging the entrance like you do on the bottom.  And with the entrance at the top, it is closer to the cluster, so the bees can readily find/get to the entrance instead of working their way down to the bottom thru a cold hive.  Although the sun might be out and the weather good enough to fly, the warmth might not last long enough to sufficiently warm the hive for them to make the treak to the bottom entrance.
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"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


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